borage (bŏrˈəj, bŭrˈ–), common name for the Boraginaceae, a family of widely distributed herbs and some tropical shrubs or trees characterized by rough or hairy stems, four-part fruits, and usually fragrant blossoms. Its species are most abundant in the Mediterranean area, but many are native to North America and are cultivated, e.g., the Virginia cowslip, or Virginia bluebell (Mertensia virginica), species of forget-me-not (genus Myosotis), and species of heliotrope (genus Heliotropium). Freijó (Cordia goeldiana) is an important timber tree in Amazonia. The family is classified in the division Magnoliophyta, class Magnoliopsida, order Lamiales.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2022, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
A very hairy plant with brilliant blue star-shaped flowers that have a green star inside and a black cone in the middle. Flowers are edible and taste like cucumber, but don’t eat the leaves raw. Borage (hot) leaf tea and seed oil stimulates the adrenals and gives people a feeling of gladness, courage and confidence while reducing depression and melancholy. Tea can also be used as eyewash. Dried stems used to flavor beverages. Flowers can be used to make edible blue dye. High mucilage content makes it useful for respiratory and digestive system disorders like irritable bowel syndrome, bronchitis and coughs. Borage seed oil is very rich in polyunsaturated fats. Seeds are source of gamma linolenic acid, GLA, which regulates hormones and lowers blood pressure. Borage is a strong diuretic and helps the body detox through urine and skin (kidneys). Tea used for skin problems like boils, rashes, arthritis, rheumatism. The soothing feel-good effect also reduces heart palpitations, and adrenal stimulation helps women with menopause hormone switchover. Used in drinks, soups, dips etc. Don’t go crazy with this plant though because it has .001% pyrrolizidine, alkaloid. Don’t use if you have liver disease or problems. Plant best used fresh. Most of the benefits lost after 1 year of storage.
Edible Plant Guide © 2012 Markus Rothkranz
1. a European boraginaceous plant, Borago officinalis, with star-shaped blue flowers. The young leaves have a cucumber-like flavour and are sometimes used in salads or as seasoning
2. any of several related plants
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005